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Fresh Meadows elderly sisters die of natural causes at home

Frances O'Rourke, 84, and Margaret O'Rourke, 80, who were found dead after neighbors complained of a foul order coming from their door, lived together on the ninth floor of the Cherrywood building at 188-04 64th Ave.

Grace Brugess, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner, said both sisters died as a result of heart disease. The date of death was recorded as Dec. 22, 2003, the day the two sisters were found. Exactly when the two sisters died or which one died first was not determined.

At the time of their deaths, police said there were no indications of foul play that could have led to the sisters' death.

After finding open medicine bottles in the apartment, the police said it was possible that at least one of the sisters may have committed suicide.

But the city medical examiner ruled out suicide as a cause of death, Brugess said.

"I used to see them on Sunday. They got dressed up and went to church," said Linda, a neighbor who preferred not to give her last name in December after the sisters were found. "They took care of one another. They were as close as a married couple."

Yvonne McColl, another neighbor, and Linda said they had not seen any family members or friends visit the sisters. Linda said she never thought of asking the sisters if they needed anything because they both had each other.

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